A Classic “Clue”-dunnit

I accuse the Drama Department of putting on a play in the auditorium with… the candlestick?

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Ah, 2021. The year has only just started and, if The Blue and White‘s most recent issue is anything to go by, that start hasn’t been a great one. With so much bad news lately, it can be helpful to look on the brighter side of things. Fortunately, the drama department’s next production is right around the corner. If the headline wasn’t enough of a clue, be prepared to be blown away by the next paragraph.

The classic board game (that is nearing 80 years old) is being brought to the stage.

On the eleventh of February, Apopka Drama is going to be putting on a production of Clue. The play will be an adaptation of the classic board game of the same name. Mr. Morphew, Apopka’s resident Drama Instructor, gave a brief introduction of the play. Much like the 1985 movie, “The story of Clue takes place not too far from Washington, D.C., in 1954.” Mr. Morphew went on to explain that the time period gives some important context to the accusations that are thrown about in Clue, namely the fact that the Red Scare was going on. The fear of communists in America caused many people to be highly suspicious of each other, even accusing their own neighbors of being traitors of democracy. Was the movie (and, by extension, the play) engaging in some social commentary? Definitely. Now, with that out of the way, Mr. Morphew can continue. “The setting takes place in a mansion called Boddy Manor. This production is a highly stylized ensemble piece. It is a comical play with ‘life or death’ stakes that moves at a very swift pace. Although the stakes are high and circumstances serious, quick wit and comedy flow throughout…It’s also a point of nostalgia for many, as lots of people have grown up playing the game or have viewed the 1985 film that starred Tim Curry.”

A behind-the-scenes look at the production of Clue, courtesy of the Apopka Drama Department.

To get a bit more of an in-depth look at this production, The Blue and White spoke to members of both the cast and the crew that will be responsible for bringing Clue to the stage. Junior Katelyn Allison is “a stage manager. I manage the things onstage. I write down notes during rehearsals for where people walk and when things happen. A lot of paperwork, so far. Tech-wise, I also fix up lights and run sound effects and music.” Katelyn’s  “favorite part is sitting in rehearsal and reading along in the script while the actors say their lines…It’s just really cool to slowly see the progression of the show.” Next up is junior Katie Lee, who plays Mrs. Peacock. Katie made sure to give us a little behind-the-scenes information, saying “my role in this production is an actor and stage crew! Not many people know this, but the actors also work on everything behind the scenes. Since sophomore year I have been the Head Costume Designer for the productions. I basically pick out and create everyone’s outfit, hair, and makeup and make everyone show ready!”  Finally, in one of a series of pun responses, junior David Ippolito described himself as “one of the many pieces of the performance.” More specifically, David plays “Colonel Mustard, The Infamous Yellow Piece in the Clue board game turned musical/play.”

Yet another behind-the-scenes look at the production of Clue, courtesy of the Apopka Drama Department.

Unfortunately, it seems that even theatrical productions have been impacted by COVID-19. Yes, it’s finally time to discuss what is arguably one of the more viral of elephants in the room: the pandemic. Naturally, everyone that The Blue and White spoke to for this article agreed that the coronavirus has caused quite the challenge this year. Katelyn explained that “this production differs a lot in little ways because of COVID. You’ll notice actors avoiding touching each other, or moving across the stage and standing in widely spaced formations…they have to speak loudly and clearly with masks.” To ensure the safety of both audience members and the production, Mr. Morphew said that the school “will have two staff members performing temperature checks at the gate. Anyone registering a temperature above 100.4 degrees will unfortunately not be admitted on campus…All ticketing must be pre-ordered eight hours before the performance. We will also have one staff member supervising the backstage/dressing room areas for the purpose of our COVID Safety Plan. My classroom will be converted into our dressing room as this offers a much larger area in which to maintain distance.”

With all of the effort that is going into the production and presentation of Clue, the 11th of February is shaping up to be both a fun and safe night. If you’re interested in attending, tickets for the on-campus performance are going to be sold through teachtix.com for $12 per ticket. Since the seating arrangement in the auditorium is going to be limited to 25% of the maximum capacity, tickets are going to be more limited than in a normal year. If you are unable to snag one of the 222 seats, there is still hope. For those people, Mr. Morphew told The Blue and White that “a live stream of the performance will take place through broadwayondemand.com. Ticket pricing for online streaming will be priced at $7.95 per ticket.” Tickets for the in-person performance are available now, but (at the time of writing) tickets for the livestream version are currently unavailable for purchase. If you decide to attend, stay safe and enjoy the mystery!